Our senior citizens should feel safe in nursing homes, but many are abused or neglected in various ways (false imprisonment, stealing money, and even physical abuse). If you are the family member or friend of a nursing home resident, use the information below to help spot signs of elder neglect and abuse.
The Different Kinds of Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes
According to a study done in 2002, almost one-third of US nursing homes were cited for abuse and ten percent had violations that placed residents in harm’s way. Elder abuse comes in different forms; residents can be abused verbally, sexually and physically, at the hands of other residents or staff. Some abuses are obvious, but others, such as neglect and financial abuse are less apparent.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse
Every form of abuse has different signs, and you should be especially wary if the home’s staff doesn’t want you to spend time alone with your elderly family member or friend. You should also be on the lookout for personality changes, uncooperativeness or argumentativeness. Other signs of physical abuse are:
Drastic/sudden weight loss
Malnutrition or dehydration
Broken or fractured bones
Injuries from falls
If Elder Abuse or Neglect is Suspected
If you believe that your elderly family member or friend has suffered neglect or abuse in a nursing home, you should act right away. Below are the steps to follow:
Verify the resident’s story. Clarify what the person is saying by reviewing the problem, and if you can, ask other residents who appear coherent enough to tell the truth. Gather documentation, medical records, and photos of any recent injuries.
Contemplate a facility change. If a nursing home resident’s safety is in doubt, help them find new accommodations right away.
Notify the proper authorities: Call the district attorney and the police. In some states, there is a requirement to report elder abuse as soon as it’s known. If the DA finds the home’s behavior is criminal, charges will be filed.
Hire an attorney: In cases of nursing home neglect in Annapolis, you should hire an attorney whose focus is on elder abuse, nursing home law, consumer fraud or personal injury. In some instances, you may be able to join with others in a class action suit. Hiring Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers can help your elderly friend or family member get the settlement they deserve.